Intel Core i5 2300 2400 & 2500K Sandy Bridge Review

👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅03-01-11
Architecture

Transfer/Controllers

Sandy Bridge brings 6Gbps (6G) SATA support and whilst most boards will be shipped with USB3 support, this isn't native. Available on LGA1155 is up to 14 USB2.0 ports which most manufacturers will be taking advantage of - consumers will have plenty of options this way.

Regarding the memory controllers, there are typically 4 DIMM slots each providing dual channel DDR3. So similarly to the LGA1156 platform, LGA1155 will also incorporate dual channel memory configuration.

PCI-E 2.0 has full support for 2.5GT/s through 8 lanes, which is encouraging to see. This allows more bandwidth to the USB 3.0 and SATA 6GBps controllers, double that of 1156, but all the lanes will be used for the aforementioned features, in an integrated manner. High end gamers may find the 16 PCI-E lanes to the CPU limiting as this allows 1 PCI-E x16 slot, or two PCI-E x8 slots for multi-GPU setups. So if you're running Crossfire or SLI you may run into this bottleneck with Sandy Bridge.

Some of you may have read that the PCI-E 3.0 specification has been finialised but are wondering why it's not supported in these latest boards - it will take a long time to be implemented and we shouldn't expect it to be mainstream until next year at the earliest, most likely beyond Ivy bridge.

Integrated graphics H67

The H67 chipset allows users to make use of the integrated graphics in the Sandy bridge CPU core, whereas the P67 chipset does not. Depending on the board, expect to see VGA, DVI, HDMI and even displayport connectors for connections to monitors and TVs. The graphics performance is not aimed towards the enthusiast, with the Intel HD Graphics 2000 supporting just 6 shader units and the Intel HD 3000 Graphics just 12. The number of shader units depends on which CPU you choose to go with your H67 motherboard. This performance is certainly good enough for most non-gamers.

Intel InTru3D

This new technology is supported on all boards implementing the new integrated graphics solution (i.e. not the P67 chipset) and allows for 3D Blu-Ray playback over a HDMI 1.4 interface. Great news for HTPC builders and others besides. For more information on this technology, Intel have a website here


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